OK, OK, OK. So it took more than 3 days in Amarillo. Valuable Lesson #867 learned: Full time RV-ers should ALWAYS have their mail sent by Priority Mail. Real snail mail, as expertly managed by the U.S. government (not) is unacceptable. Our mail was sent from Livingston, TX on a Tuesday and did not arrive at Amarillo, TX until the following Tuesday. (8) days to go half way across Texas. I think Uncle Sam came up with a great scam when they instituted the pay-for services such as Priority Mail just so they could fang us commoners for more greenbacks while they so adeptly mismanage our tax dollars. Enough whining about that…
Since we had to stay in the Amarillo area way too long, we found a campground about an hour away in the booming town of Pampa, TX. The city runs Pampa City Park which has a few RV sites with water and power and a dump station on site. There are 2 small fishing ponds and not much else there. But it gave me an opportunity to wash the beast and toad. Jeanne had found a product called Meguiar’s Ultimate Black Plastic Restorer which we tried on our faded and stained Wrangler’s plastic bumpers and fenders. Worked like a champ, came out almost looking brand new.
After a couple of days in Pampa, we headed back to Amarillo in hopes of picking up our mail on Monday. We chose to stay at the Amarillo Ranch RV Park this time, but come Monday it was no such luck, no mail. One more night, mail finally in hand, and it was “Get me outta here!”. We did an overnighter in Oklahoma City at a Cracker Barrel, then on to Little Rock, AR, to meet up with our friends Steve and Christy whom we had met at our last foray into Red Bay. We found a couple of nights at the River Front RV Park right on the Arkansas River across from Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library. Steve and Christy gave us a whirlwind tour of the area since it was their home town. We checked out Pugh’s Mill Memorial Park, complete with it’s “herd” of turtles. The bridge over the river to the Clinton Library lit up at night, pretty spectacular.
We were only able to stay at the River Front park for a couple of days, they were otherwise booked for a weekend bass tournament on the river. So eastbound and down we were, the final leg of the drive into Red Bay, AL. We got in on a Friday, which is probably the best day to arrive at the Tiffin service center campground. It is always full here and most times you have to stay at one of the satellite parks around town or dry camp on their back lot until a space opens up (they have 93 FHU spaces, 8 with power hook-ups some of which also have water). But getting here when we did, we just happened to garner a FHU space.
We got settled in and set about trying to streamline this particular stop so as to spend the shortest amount of time here. Our initial visit with Norris, the “Walmart Greeter” of Tiffin, got us a 3-weeks out estimate for a service bay. We had some minor paint issues after some Adam Henry in the West Sacramento RV Park clipped the front corner of my front cap, tearing a hole in the Diamondshield with paint transfer, and not bothering to own up to it or leave me a note. So we made a return trip to Bruce Deaton’s body shop here in town and he fixed us right up in half a day. While waiting for our service bay I also got the beast serviced at Bay Diesel. And since I was due for my 3 year follow-up endoscope for my prior Barrett’s Esophagus, we made all the doctor appointments I needed with my primary care physician up in Murfreesboro, TN, a mere 3 1/2 hour drive north from Red Bay.
So now, here we sit, still waiting. Red Bay, Alabama is not what you would call a hub of activity. You can only go see the Coon Dog Cemetery and the Rattlesnake Saloon so many times. But we will make the best of it. And we will continue to try to shorten our stay by shortening our fix-it list with all of the guys here who do side work on the various components, particularly the things that are not still covered under our original warranty like cabinet/wood work. All in all, we still have our “eyes on the prize”, Disneyland at the end of November or early December, for the Gladiator’s(Max, the grandson) birthday. I gotta go for now, I have to go “hurry up and wait…”